Most of the newer washers made in the last 10 – 15 years especially front load washing machines have bearings that help operate the machine. There are also top load washing machines that utilize bearings in the drive system, but is most common in front loaders. The only thing that separates these bearings from the water is a seal. Over time, water seeps behind that seal causing the bearings to rust and grind. This water will eventually start to seep out of your machine sometimes causing greasy or rusty splatters in (front load washer) or under (top load washer) the machine.
These signs will help you determine if your bearings are going out on your washing machine:
- Loud noise in spin cycle
- Rusty water splatters on the floor or inside the machine (To take a peek on a front loader, simply remove the back panel.)
- For front load washers sometimes the belt will keep slipping off the pulley.
What will happen if I don’t fix my washing machine bearings?
If the bearings are not fixed right away, it can cause damage to other parts of the machine such as the basket, spider arm, outer tub, and in some cases electrical components. It is very important to get this problem fixed right away.
How much does it cost to get my washing machine bearings replaced?
Well, it depends on how you go about doing it. If a repair man comes out, depending on if you have a top loader or a front loader, he may charge any where between $300 – $500. There is another way to repair your bearings that isn’t “by the book” (I’m mainly referring to front load bearing repair.). If you do it yourself, you can save a whole lot of cash. In most cases, manufacturers do not sell bearings and seals separate from the outer tub. Now Whirlpool offers a bearing kit for some top load washer models. If you do it your self, you can probably do the repair for under $200. Front loaders are more difficult to repair, but some people have been doing their own repairs without replacing the outer tub by simply purchasing common bearings and a seal. The cost of the repair is now a fraction of the cost.
What if I’m not mechanically inclined?
Some people aren’t mechanically inclined enough to replace the bearings in their washing machine, but that’s ok. You will need to call your local repair guy, but know that most local guys will replace the outer tub on your washer especially for the front loaders because this is what the manufacturer suggests. If you have a good repair guy, at least you have the peace of mind knowing it was done right.
You can save a bundle by repairing your own washing machine bearings or you can leave it up to a professional, the choice is yours. In the resource box below are a couple of links to more detailed information on how to repair your washing machine bearings.